Member Showcase: CAVU Aerospace

Member Showcase: CAVU Aerospace Main Photo

5 Apr 2024

CAVU Aerospace is one of the world’s leading providers of aircraft asset management, disassembly, and recycling services. They partner with major airlines and offer services like aircraft sales and leasing, plane storage, and total airplane material management. With four busy and growing locations, their Roswell facility has contributed greatly to developing New Mexico’s economy by creating jobs and investing in workforce development.

CAVU Aerospace’s Impact on Roswell & Chaves County

Each year, CAVU’s Roswell branch contributes approximately $2.5 Million into the local economy.. Their above-average employee pay - even for entry-level roles - has established CAVU’s Roswell base as a haven for employee development, training, and retention.

Nationwide, the average age of aircraft technicians is 58, which means attracting a younger workforce is necessary to keep this critical field staffed. Most aerospace plants around the country struggle to attract new employees, but CAVU Aerospace is an exception. Bull Johnson, CAVU’s Roswell General Manager, explained how he’s taking action to address the aircraft workforce shortage head-on.

When Johnson took on the role of GM five years ago, his primary goal was to invest in his employees. Soon after accepting the General Manager role, Johnson stipulated that all aircraft maintenance technicians complete ATA Spec 104 Level 2A  Aircraft Maintenance Training. This course gives employees 40 hours of hands-on learning and basic knowledge of different aircraft types. As a standard course nationwide, it’s a skill that employees can take with them in future aircraft careers.

Johnson enrolls 10 employees at a time into the course and brings in a contractor to teach the curriculum. Each course costs CAVU an estimated $30,000, and so far, CAVU’s Roswell facility has conducted ten of those courses to invest in employee development. When asked about investing nearly $300,000 in employee development in just 5 years, Johnson said, “You need to invest in employees or you’re going to have a revolving door.” So far, their efforts have paid off – even after receiving lucrative offers from other companies, Johnson’s employees rarely leave CAVU. He even offers them a letter of recommendation after three years of employment at the facility, but they rarely want to leave Roswell. Not only has it saved CAVU money in the long run, but it’s improved the skillset of the local workforce and attracted new recruits to the company. And because of CAVU’s  efforts, CAVU’s Roswell branch received the Job Training Incentive Program award, which can reimburse a company for 50-70% of employee wages. With Johnson at the helm, CAVU’s Roswell base has never been so profitable.

When asked about hiring more employees, Johnson said, “If you have the right attitude and want to learn, I’ll teach you.” About 25% of CAVU employees started with no experience in the aircraft industry. In the future, Johnson and his team hope to create internships and sponsor employees who want to pursue their US Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic certification.

Roswell & Chaves County recently became one of the Reno Air Racing Association’s top 3 finalists to host the National Championship Air Races. This is the first time in 59 years that the NCAR will not be hosted at the Reno-Stead Airport. This honor is due in large part to the thriving aerospace industry in Roswell, bolstered by organizations like CAVU Aerospace.  To learn more about the skilled aircraft and aerospace workforce in Roswell & Chaves County, contact us today.